VAUGHAN, Ontario – More than 60 people have been swindled out of thousands of dollars in a diverted mail delivery scheme, according to police.
Canada Post investigators alerted police that mail was going to a post office box instead of the intended recipients. Police believe a significant portion of the diverted mail contained credit cards.
York Regional Police and Canada Post said they were able to determine who was receiving the mail and executed a search warrant on Dec. 3 at a home in Vaughan, Ont., north of Toronto.
Police found cash, gift cards, pre-paid credit cards and fraudulently obtained goods.
“The credit card companies are taking the losses, but the hardship for these people will be getting their credit rating repaired,” Const. Andy Pattenden said.
“Police would like to remind people as we approach the holiday season to take extra care to check your credit card statements and make sure all the purchases are correct,” Pattenden said.
“Keeping informed on what is on your credit report and credit score can help spot early signs of identity theft.”
Free services such as Equifax and TransUnion can track a person’s credit report, he said.
Pattenden also cautioned people about buying online discounted gift cards.
“If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is,” Pattenden said.
Prince Imalenowa, 35, of Vaughan has been charged with redirect mail, defraud the public under $5,000 and fraud over $5,000.
Windsor Police have arrested a local woman who allegedly had two separate driver’s licences, one of which was allegedly in the name of a deceased girl 4-year-old.
Police say investigators, along with the Ministry of Transportation, looked into the history of the two names and learned that the woman had a licence in her own name as well as allegedly adopting the identity of a deceased 4 year old girl, Rozalia Kovacs.
The woman had allegedly been using the identity of the deceased girl since 1997.
A Toronto lawyer was arrested Tuesday after at least 25 people came forward alleging they paid deposits for a condo in north Toronto, only to learn later that the land had been sold, the developer had fled and their money was gone.
Police laid 75 charges against Meerai Cho, 63, related to condo fraud totalling $12.4-million in expected losses from deposits on units at 5220 Yonge St.
At a time when construction is booming in Toronto, the alleged fraud calls into question whether strong enough safeguards exist for condo buyers in the city. While real estate lawyers and authorities say a crime of this nature is rare, others say the new-sale market needs more oversight.
“This wasn’t something that somebody met them [victims] down the back alley. This was a condo development, they were dealing with a lawyer at this time, and the purpose of the trust account is to hold the monies in trust, they are not supposed to be moved,” Det. Constable Devereaux said.
The victims’ losses vary from $40,000 to $700,000 in deposits, according to police.
When a group of retail and condo buyers purchased units in an up-and-coming Yonge and Finch building also featuring a hotel, they envisioned packing up their current homes and moving into new ones where they would raise families, grow old and make memories together.
Instead, they say they’ve been subjected to almost nine months of anguish as they fret over what happened to the condos they were expecting and the millions they collectively spent on units at 5220 Yonge St.
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